PUCL Bulletin, Nov., 2000
May 9, 2000
TWO ARRESTED AT ANNUAL GANDHI DAY PROTEST NAVY SUBMARINE SITE IN USA
Clam Lake, WI-In a regular protest in honor of Mohandas Gandhi, the Indian independence leader, about 30 people from Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota gathered at the controversial submarine transmitter system, Project ELF, and two were arrested for trespassing. Ashland County Sheriff's Deputies took Bonnie Urfer, 48, Luck, WI, into custody, while Rodney Moose, 47, Hayward, WI, was ticketed and released. Both were ordered to appear Oct. 17 on the civil forfeiture charge that carries a fine of $212.00 or up to six months in jail for refusing to pay.
Bonnie Urfer was arrested June 24 along with Michael Sprong, after they cut down three of the telegraph poles that suspend the ELF antenna. The action that they called "Silence Trident" took the system off line for at least 24 hours. Initially charged with felony destruction of property by the State of Wisconsin, the charges were dismissed July 28 and the federal government is expected to bring charges in Madison against the protesters.
In a statement to the group today, Rodney Moose declared the government a trespasser on the Ceded Territory of Wisconsin, referring the land ceded to the United States in 19th Century Treaties.
The demonstration began at noon at the remote site in the Chequamagon National Forest east of Clam Lake, WI. Barb Katt, 42, of Luck, WI, acting as M.C., quoted Gandhi on the difficulty of teaching nonviolent action: "Gandhi said, 'Nonviolence, which is a quality of the heart, cannot come by an appeal to the brain,' " she said.
The Project ELF, a giant antenna system, sends extremely low frequency signals to submerged U.S. and British nuclear submarines as they patrol around the world.
The birthday anniversary of the nonviolent revolutionary Mohandas K. Gandhi is October 2, and Wisconsin and Minnesota peace activists have celebrated the date with an anti-nuclear protests at Project ELF every year since 1992. Since that time, over 554 trespass citations have been issued to protesters who have crossed onto the facility's grounds to draw attention to the part it plays in the nuclear weapons arsenal.
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